Lord Baltimore touched by tragedy

A 6-year-old Frankford girl was killed in a vehicle crash west of Millsboro on Sunday, Sept. 9. The girl, whose name had not yet been released as of Coastal Point press time, was a first-grader at Lord Baltimore Elementary School.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of a Lord Baltimore Elementary School student in a traffic collision on Sunday, Sept. 9,” said Mark Steele, superintendent of the Indian River School District, in a written statement. “We would like to offer our deepest condolences to the child’s family and to the entire Lord Baltimore community. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in their time of grief. Extra counselors and social workers will be on hand at the school this week to assist students and staff during this difficult time.”

Lord Baltimore Elementary School Principal Pam Webb was informed of the student’s passing on Sunday and was able to inform the girl’s first-grade teacher, as well as her kindergarten teacher from last year, on Sunday, “so they weren’t blind-sided,” said district spokesman Dave Maull.

On Monday morning, “before the students arrived, they had a staff meeting. Pam Webb, the principal, informed the staff first thing on what had happened,” he added.

Maull said that students themselves were not informed of the student’s passing, but that a letter was sent home to first-grade parents.

“They sent a letter home to students’ parents yesterday, so there wasn’t an announcement or anything like that. She wanted to send a letter home to the parents and give them an opportunity to talk to their kids about it first, rather than making a whole school-wide announcement.”

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we write this letter today,” wrote Webb on Sept. 10. “Yesterday we lost a member of our Lord Baltimore first-grade family in a tragic vehicle accident. This letter is going home with all first-grade students to make parents aware that we are monitoring the wellbeing of all of our students, not just the students in [her teacher’s] class.”

Two members of the district’s crisis team were on-site Monday and Tuesday, in addition to the school counselor and social worker who are there every day to offer support to students and staff as needed.

Maull said that, at this time, the district has not planned any type of memorial, as the accident was so recent.

“The child’s name hasn’t been released, and I know the accident is still under investigation, so we didn’t want to do anything,” he said, noting that there would likely be something planned in the future.

By Maria Counts

Staff Reporter